Wedding and portrait photography is a rewarding craft to master, but we often find ourselves trying to create and/or control light. Its brightness, softness, color… This process almost always results in quite a wide range of camera settings, and a lot of varied results.

Some images may not require any editing at all, while others might. Indeed, those oddball images can be some of the most time-consuming ones to edit, and we always encourage photographers to “get it right in-camera” as much as possible.

It’s easy to get carried away and be distracted by perfectionism. If you spend too much time double-checking things like your exposure, white balance, or sharpness, you are inevitably going to miss some of the best candid moments. Even in controlled, studio portrait environments, the best smiles are genuine but fleeting.

So, after the first one or two test shots, we strongly encourage photographers to stop obsessing over their camera settings and focus on being present in the moment. Trust your camera, trust your skill, and pay attention to the emotion in the scene, the pose, the timing, etc.

The question is, how do you edit such a diverse array of images? With the inevitable oddball exposure or white balance setting, here’s the question we’ve been asking lately: can AI do a good job at fixing such errors?

In this article, we’re going to talk about why the answer to that question is, “yes!” We’ll share our own test samples, where we completely trust Aftershoot Edits 2.0 to get our job done with zero additional editing. There is also an entire online gallery dedicated to showcasing what Aftershoot can do; Straight Out Of Aftershoot, but more on this later.

Simply put, with the newest release, Aftershoot helps you create consistent edits, every time.  The tool can detect images where exposure or white balance significantly deviates from your preferred style. This includes recognizing when your creative preference tends to be slightly warmer or has variations in brightness—whether brighter or darker—compared to a neutral setting. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Exposure & White Balance- The Two Most Important Settings In Post-Production

A lot can go “wrong” when it comes to your camera settings. And, to make it even more complicated, what we define as “right and wrong” can change from one scene to another, and from one photographer to another.

It’s hard enough to keep your exposure and white balance spot-on when the ambient light is changing frequently. As portrait and wedding photographers, you are also using light modifiers and/or flash photography.

Sometimes, depending on the scene and lighting, your camera settings might be the same, but they look “right” in one scene, but “wrong” in another. After all, creativity is subjective, indeed!

Also, remember what we mentioned earlier: the perfect portrait is often a candid, fleeting moment. A genuine moment does not wait for you to fix your camera settings!

If any of that was too confusing, here are some examples of what we’re talking about:

  • If the ambient light changes brightness or color, then your current exposure and WB might become “wrong”
  • If your flash power changes, or your light modifier shifts your exposure could again become “wrong”
  • If the light does not change, but your exposure or WB changes dramatically, sometimes the settings could become “wrong”

In every situation, a photo editing AI is tasked with the challenge of understanding what’s going on, and to keep the final result consistent after editing.

So, the million-dollar question is this: How does AI know what is “wrong” and what is “right”? You might feed the AI two images with identical camera settings across the board, yet one of the images might need major adjustments, while the other may not.

There are innumerable reasons why these issues might happen, especially for wedding photographers, or any type of event photo journalist, where the light is constantly changing and each moment could be very important. It is very common to go back and forth between extreme low light and bright sun, potentially resulting in under-exposed and/or over-exposed images.

Additionally, even in relatively controlled portrait conditions, many photographers are going to be pushing the envelope of creativity, using dramatic light such as backlighting or rim lighting. Each photographer’s style is different. Some go for a dramatic high-contrast look, while others go for a muted, low-contrast, or even HDR. (High Dynamic Range)

Aftershoot Edits 2.0 | Updated Exposure & White Balance AI Photo Editing

As the examples in this article demonstrate, the Aftershoot AI does an incredible job of simply understanding your personal style, and helps ensure consistency. Just as we instinctively understand our creative vision before bringing it to life, the AI has analyzed thousands of your existing photos to learn and replicate your unique editing style.

What this means is that whenever you have a random image with an exposure that is totally “off”, the AI will identify the anomaly and take care of it. Furthermore, somehow, it appears that the AI is even discerning our creative decisions, too! (See below; I thought for sure the AI would treat this as a silhouette, as it also did for a few images where that was indeed the intention, …but in this case, it knew just what to do!)

AI Photo Editing Examples | Wedding & Portrait Photography

We’ve been testing out Aftershoot Edits 2.0 for ourselves here at the studio, and we’re very impressed with the results! We gave it some of the most challenging conditions that we could come up with, as well as various creative styles. The AI just always seems to know what to do, whether we are working with natural light and using contrast-killing flare as a creative tool, …or we are creating dramatic, high-contrast imagery using flash in low light.

In the above example, we intentionally used flare in the first image, but avoided it in the latter. In both cases, Aftershoot stayed true to our desired editing style!

Also, we’re equally impressed by the results when editing images in challenging white balance situations, too! Things like green tree foliage, grass, and even tinted windows can cause frustrating color shifts, especially with skin tones.

Of course, constantly changing the WB “Tint” slider is not a good idea because, remember, being a “distracted perfectionist” can result in missed moments, and lost patience.

Honestly, with AI managing the white balance, (both temperature and tint!) …we are just as impressed (or more) by the color-correction than its ability to get exposure right!

Oh, and yes, for those who do a lot of black & white photography; we found that even with similarly challenging exposures and color tones, the B&W conversions from Aftershoot Edits 2.0 are phenomenal.

Again, to be clear: all of our samples are completely untouched; we did not “help” the exposure, contrast, WB, anything. These are literally straight out of Aftershoot!

Bottom line: the AI in Aftershoot Edits 2.0 offers cutting-edge color-correction that will save us tons of time. Indeed, we’ll likely save hours per week, probably even entire days per month/year! Honestly, if we had this at our disposal at the beginning of our careers 15-20 years ago, it would have saved us so much time.

AI In Action | Aftershoot SOOAS Gallery

Photos by James Morris (website) (SOOAS gallery)

As we have mentioned previously, the best way to prove results to you, or ourselves, is through sheer volume of evidence. That is why the Aftershoot SOOAS gallery exists; to demonstrate the consistency of the results across many different scenarios and creative styles.

The before & after images in this gallery have a simple premise: The edited images all required either zero or near-zero manual adjustment. This would be an impressive feat even if it were a gallery created by just one photographer, using the same creative style during one single photo shoot. However, what stands out about the SOOAS gallery is its diversity. There are dozens of professional photographers who contribute, and their sample images cover a wide range of artistic styles..

Photos by Joanne and Jason (website) (SOOAS gallery)

To check out more galleries on the Straight Out Of Aftershoot, visit sooas.club.

Save Time With Aftershoot

When you’re a portrait or wedding photographer, it is very important to always be present in the moment. Timing is often the most critical factor in turning an average shot into a truly memorable moment!

One of the best ways we have found to ensure you’re always focused on the moment is to fully trust both your camera and your post-production workflow. Instead of obsessing over reviewing every single frame you click, and constantly messing around with settings, our best wisdom after 15+ years in the business is this: Get your settings dialed in to “close enough” before the special moments start happening. Then, stay present, and trust your workflow.

With AI post-production tools such as Aftershoot, we believe that the reasons to trust in your workflow have never been better! The challenges that we used to face in terms of perfectly nailing your exposure, let alone nailing your white balance, are definitely behind us.

Try Aftershoot Edits 2.0 for free for 30 days, with unlimited edits included! If you’re satisfied with the results, you can continue using it with a 20% discount on your subscription.